Portrait of Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull

On February 11, 1864, Lyman Trumbull guided a bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee that eventually became the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. [Wikimedia Commons]

Lyman Trumbull - Facts

October 12, 1813 - June 25, 1896

Key facts about Lyman Trumbull, a United States Senator from Illinois who spearheaded the enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

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Full Name:

  • Lyman Trumbull

Birth Date:

  • October 12, 1813

Birth Location:

  • Colchester, Connecticut

Parents:

  • Benjamin and Elizabeth (Mather) Trumbull

Education:

  • Bacon Academy, Colchester, Connecticut

Occupation:

  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Politician

Career Summary:

  • U.S. Senator

Spouse:

  • Julia Maria Jayne (1843)

Place of Death:

  • Chicago, Illinois

Date of Death:

  • June 25, 1896

Place of Burial:

  • Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

Significance:

  • Lyman Trumbull was the seventh of eleven children of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Mather) Trumbull.
  • Benjamin Trumbull was a farmer who also served as a representative in the Connecticut legislature and as a probate judge.
  • Elizabeth Trumbull was a descendent of the renowned New England Mather family.
  • As a youth, Lyman Trumbull worked on the family farm and was educated in the classics at home.
  • Lyman Trumbull graduated from Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut.
  • In 1833, Lyman Trumbull moved to Georgia where he accepted a teaching and headmaster position at an academy in Greenville until 1836.
  • Lyman Trumbull studied law in the office of Hiram Warner, judge of the superior court of Georgia, and was admitted to the bar in 1836.
  • In 1837, Lyman Trumbull relocated to Belleville, Illinois and joined the law practice of John Reynolds, a former governor of Illinois. Three years later he opened his own law office and was later joined by his younger brother George.
  • While living in Belleville, Illinois, Lyman Trumbull became active in the Democratic Party.
  • In 1840, Illinois voters elected Lyman Trumbull to the Illinois House of Representatives where he served until 1841.
  • On February 27, 1841, Lyman Trumbull replaced Stephen A. Douglas as Secretary of State of Illinois.
  • In 1843 Lyman Trumbull married Julia Maria Jayne, a friend of Mary Todd Lincoln, in Springfield, Illinois. Their marriage, which lasted until Julia’s death in 1868, produced six children.
  • In 1852, Lyman Trumbull married Mary Jane Ingraham, the daughter of his first cousin. Their marriage produced two children, neither of whom survived to adulthood.
  • In 1848, Lyman Trumbull was appointed as a justice on the Supreme Court of Illinois, where he served until 1853.
  • In 1854, Illinois voters elected Lyman Trumbull to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, but before he could take his seat, the state legislature selected him to represent Illinois in the U. S. Senate.
  • Lyman Trumbull served in the U.S. Senate for nearly two decades from March 4, 1855, to March 3, 1873.
  • During his senatorial career, Lyman Trumbull served as chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a member of the Committee on the Conduct of the War.
  • By 1857 Lyman Trumbull switched his allegiance to the newly-emerging Republican Party.
  • Lyman Trumbull supported Lincoln’s failed senatorial bid in 1858 and his successful presidential campaign in 1860.
  • In late July, 1861, Lyman Trumbull spearheaded a congressional movement that led to the approval of the Confiscation Act of 1861.
  • Lyman Trumbull contributed to the crafting of the Confiscation Act of 1862.
  • Although Lyman Trumbull was critical of Abraham Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War, he supported the president’s reelection in 1864.
  • On February 11, 1864, Lyman Trumbull guided a bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee that eventually became the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • On January 5, 1866 Lyman Trumbull the Civil Rights Act of 1866 on the U.S. Senate.
  • Lyman Trumbull was one of seven Republicans who broke party ranks and voted to acquit the President Andrew Johnson in the U.S. Senate.
  • When Lyman Trumbull’s Senate term expired in 1873, the Illinois legislature replaced him with former Governor Richard J. Oglesby.
  • At the conclusion of his Senate term, Trumbull returned to Illinois and practiced law in Chicago.
  • Upon leaving the Senate, Lyman Trumbull joined the short-lived Liberal-Republican Party, which opposed the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, and favored the end of Reconstruction.
  • By 1876, Lyman Trumbull had rejoined the Democratic Party.
  • Lyman Trumbull served as a legal counsel for Democratic presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden, during the dispute following the controversial Hayes-Tilden election.
  • In 1880, Lyman Trumbull made an unsuccessful bid as a democratic candidate to become governor of Illinois.
  • By 1894, Lyman Trumbull had taken up the cause of common Americans against the abuses of monopolies and joined the Populist movement.
  • In 1895, Lyman Trumbull teamed with Clarence Darrow to represent Eugene V. Debs before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn Debs’ conviction for violating a court injunction during the 1894 Pullman Strike.
  • In 1896, during exploratory surgery, doctors discovered that Lyman Trumbull was afflicted with inoperable cancer. He died of the disease on June 25, 1896, at the age of eighty-two, in Chicago.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Lyman Trumbull - Facts
  • Coverage October 12, 1813 - June 25, 1896
  • Author
  • Keywords Lyman Trumbull
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 31, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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